President Joe Biden returned to the scene of the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh on Thursday, where he was joined by Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, before raising cash for Fetterman in Philadelphia.
Fetterman, who typically wears hoodies and gym shorts, donned a suit for the occasion and greeted Biden on the tarmac upon his arrival.
Earlier, Biden pushed back when a reporter noted that few candidates have appeared beside him in the run-up to the midterm elections on November 8.
“That is not true; there have been fifteen.” ‘Count, kid, count,’ Biden remarked Thursday morning on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One.
In addition, he stated his intention to hold additional campaign events with Democrats within the next three weeks.
Thursday aboard Air Force One, when asked for specifics, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre remained tight-lipped.
She stated, “I do not have any travel recommendations for you at this time.”
The president then landed in Pittsburgh, where the Fern Hollow Bridge, which carries Forbes Avenue over a ravine in Frick Park, collapsed on January 28, hours before Vice President Biden was scheduled to visit the city to discuss infrastructure, taking a Port Authority bus with it.
The incident resulted in no fatalities but at least ten injuries.
Since then, virtually all of the bridge has been rebuilt, and it is projected to be finished in December, which is significantly faster than the typical two to five years required to accomplish a project of this magnitude.
Jean-Pierre stated, “In his remarks today, the president will emphasize how this bridge is emblematic of the nationwide impact of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.”
While the monies given under the law, which was signed by the president in November, were not directly used for the Pittsburgh bridge project, Pennsylvania was able to finance the construction without interfering with other projects, according to the White House.
Fetterman and Rep. Conor Lamb, Fetterman’s Senate primary opponent, will appear beside Biden.
Despite having a stroke only days before the Democratic Senate primary in May, Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, easily won.
His recovery from a stroke has become a significant campaign issue as he competes against Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican, for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat in a race that is now rated as “close.”
Wednesday, after not previously pledging to do so, Fetterman published a fresh doctor’s statement stating that he was still experiencing ‘auditory processing’ challenges, but that his ‘communication is considerably improved.’
Last week’s NBC interview demonstrating Fetterman’s usage of closed captioning rekindled interest in his stroke.
In recent days, Fetterman has been traveling throughout the state, especially to the red counties of Butler and Cambria, and delivering speeches at rallies, where he addresses the ‘elephant in the room,’ his health, and makes jokes about his stroke in an effort to reassure people.
However, Fetterman will not hold a rally with Biden, as the president will instead hold a closed-door fundraiser in Philadelphia for the Senate candidate.
Although there will be some reporters there, cameras will not be permitted inside.
With fewer than three weeks until Election Day, the White House has been secretive about the president’s campaign travel itinerary, since his low support rating has made several vulnerable Democrats hesitant to campaign with him.
Biden was scheduled to come to Orlando for a campaign rally in late September, but the event was canceled due to Hurricane Ian.
There was never a rescheduling.
Prior to that, in late August, Biden hosted a Democratic National Committee rally in suburban Maryland alongside the Democratic nominee for governor, Wes Moore.
FiveThirtyEight gives Moore a 99 percent likelihood of victory over Dan Cox, a Republican who is extremely supportive of Donald Trump.